Space can be thought of as a substance permeating creation which is the keeping of one thing separate from another. It is the availability of the concept of separateness.
Physical objects occupy various quantities of space. These quantities we call area or volume. An object which occupies no space seems not to exist, but it is actually just such an “object” on which geometry, the description of space, is built. We call such an object a point.
Can two “nothings” be different? When worded this way the answer seems to be no. This is because most people think of nothing as 0 and then connect the idea of 0 with its place among the integers, …-2, -1, 0, 1, 2,… There obviously is only one 0 in the integers.
Can two points in space be different? The answer to this question is, of course, yes. Anyone who has been through grade school mathematics has learned that two points can have different positions and thus be different. Remember though, that a point is just a nothing. A point is a 0 freed from the box of integers it is often conceptually stuck in.
The placement of 0 among the integers gives it more meaning than the concept of nothing carries inherently. 0 has been placed in the integers as a point of reference. We think of 0 as the center of the integers. It is like a mountaintop from which all of number can be seen. Every other nothing, or point, is thought of as being some distance from 0.
A number line is simply a line on which we put the point 0. It serves as a visual aid which helps us think of all numbers as quantities with respect to 0. Any given number on the number line is just a quantity of line space from 0. At the other (not 0) end of this line space is a unique point much like 0. We name this point after the amount of line space between it and 0. We name it the number.
Notice that a single number fully describes such a point. We could say that the point only has a first name. Why is this? It is because we are thinking only about one dimension when we think about a number line.
A plane is a two-dimensional line. Just as we can use a number line to understand one dimension, we can use two number lines intersecting at the point 0 and placed at right angles to each-other to understand 2-dimensions. A construction made up of these two number lines along with the plane which they describe is called a rectangular coordinate system. It was discovered by mathematician Rene Descartes in the 1600’s.
Any point other than zero on this plane has a distance from zero “horizontally” and a distance from zero “vertically.” Thus we must call such a point by both its numbers, by both its first and last names, so to speak. Such a full name is written in mathematics like this: (2,-3). It is called a coordinate because that sounds more scientific than “full name.”
To construct the same kind of system for three-dimensional space, we simply add one more number line to a rectangular coordinate system. This number line has as its 0 the 0 (origin) of the two dimensional coordinate system, and it extends out at a right angle from the plane of the coordinate system. Such a construct for understanding space is called a three-dimensional coordinate system. Any point in three dimensional space has three number-names corresponding with the three axes most commonly called the x, y, and z axes. Example: (x,y,z) = (-2,1,8).
Mathematicians now universally agree that the three-dimensional coordinate system is the most natural and useful means of understanding space.
Fundamentally, this coordinate system is made up of three number lines (each called an axis), which cross each other at the point (0,0,0) and thus become one entity. As each number line is at right angles to both the others, we have that the relationship of any number line in the coordinate system to the other two number lines is the same.
In light of the coordinate system, it is seen that the whole of space is the collection of all possible points. An amount of volume or sub-collection of space, a something, is made out of a sub-collection of all points. A point is a packet of nothing. Thus all somethings are made of a collection of nothing.
The point (0,0,0) is the center or the origin of the entire system. With respect to this point, encapsulating the oneness of the three axes, all other points in space are named.
The three axes can be thought of as a system of six paths on which one can move towards or away from the center, (0,0,0). It could be said that these six paths find their completion at the center – a seventh most important component of the three-dimensional coordinate system.
What spiritual meaning could the coordinate system be expressing?
God’s children knew long before Descartes discovery of it.
It is with respect to the cross that all is most naturally understood.
Three members of the Godhead are bound together as one at the center of all. Each member of the Godhead shares the same infinite-love relationship with the other two members.
With respect to the Godhead, all is clearly understood to have been originally created out of nothing.
As we saw in the last tab, “Numbers,” the Son is the oneness of the Godhead, so it is he “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:15). Creation is defined with respect to Him, just as coordinates are named with respect to (o,o,o), the center of the cross.
The seventh is the most hallowed; it is where God brings to completion.
We know from the Bible that 1) the Father is the Source of all, 2) the Son is called One Saint and is the esemplastic center of the Godhead, and 3) that the Holy Spirit has no form, is like the wind, is like 0. Notice that (0,0,0) on a 3-D coordinate system 1) is called the “origin,” and is often thought of as the “source” of number, 2) is the one point which binds together in one the entirety of the 3-D coordinate system, and 3) is the 3-D equivalent of zero. These characteristics of (0,0,0) simply picture how it is the Holy Spirit who is directly responsible for presenting all members of the Godhead to us, it is the Holy Spirit who is our first point of contact with the Godhead.
The 3-D coordinate system is composed of the origin – (0,0,0) – and the six rays (arrows) extending from it at perfectly right angles. Seven components in all. We will call the arrows up, down, right, left, forward, and backward respectively for ease of discussion. Taken together, the up and down arrows compose a single axis which has as its center the origin of the coordinate system. The same goes for both the right and left and the forward and backward arrows. Overall we see three axes presented to us by seven components – six sword-like rays and an origin.
As the origin of the coordinate system represents the Holy Spirit as the immediate origin of our knowledge of a three-Member Godhead bound together as one (that is, in one accord – in Christ), so the six sword-like rays of the coordinate system, each pointing in a different direction from the point of unity, represent the Holy Spirit as the Being proceeding out of the mouth of One Saint. All seven components represent the Spirit. The six arrows give us a most direct view of the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God/Christ. The 3-D coordinate system as a whole is nothing less than a picture of the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth (Revelation 5:6), it is nothing less than a picture of the “flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24. (Note that both fire and sword represent the Holy Spirit.) The 3-D coordinate system is nothing less than a picture of the “word of [the Son’s] power” by which he upholds all creation (Hebrews 1:3). One of the most basic ways in which Christ upholds all things by the power of the Holy Spirit is seen immediately. The 3-D coordinate system is the only reason all the points (zeros) of space are held separate from each other. Without the Sword which points every way, space itself would suddenly collapse into a single volumeless point. Is there any power more dreadful than the Power of the One who carries this Sword as His Weapon?
I am a mathematician, so I know how to draw a 3-D coordinate system. I sketch it on notebook paper and label its axes x, y, and z – three unknowns.
I can then name specific relationships (equations) among the unknowns, thereby calling into existence conceptual realities in my coordinate system. These realities (lines, surfaces, inclosures) can by brought to view by my coordinate system.
My Jesus is the Wonderful Numberor…He is the ultimate Mathematician. Thus, He has the ability to breathe forth the Seven Spirits of God, the Word of His Power. I am so happy to believe that “the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) was His expression – His Sword thrust – which originally brought to view within time and space a triune “UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts 17:23). I am further delighted to understand that in “the beginning,” Jesus named specific, preexisting relationships among the Unknowns, thereby calling into existence tangible realities which included the heavens and the foundations of our planet (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 51:16). These were brought into being and upheld by and in the Hand of the Lord, the Word of His Power, the Seven Spirits of God sent abroad, the flaming Sword that pointed in every direction, God’s Arrows, the Holy Ghost.
In light of the above knowledge of the Holy Spirit, the following passages are very profound to me.
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. Deuteronomy 32:39-43.
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:22-31.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth… 2 Peter 3:5.